Emergency A/C Advice Needed - System Down!
I am in a bind! My AC went out last Wednesday and now I have diagnosis of problem and bottom line is that it is now
my turn to buy a total new system. But, I need some good advice because now I must make it in a hurry which is never good.
The compressor has gone out in my current non-heat pump regular AC system. Here are the facts...
- 2500 sq ft 2-story house, new when I moved in back in May 1999. 500 sq ft of finished basement not included in 2500 sq ft. House faces west.
- Original system - Bryant evaporator and furnace. Original condenser hit by lightning in 2003 and replaced by Goodman condenser. It is a 4 ton unit.
Duct work is marginal for 4 ton as I have two plenums with branch off the main vertical plenum and each of these is 8x14". Furnace is an 80% efficiency furnace.
- We tend to like it 'cold' in the house in the summer and Thermostat is usually on 69-71.
OK, I've received 3 quotes so far, but vender 3 is over the phone and he is coming Monday to verify. Each company is quoting similar remedies as I understand it. Here is basically what each company is quoting.
System 1 - SEER 13 AC system (not heat pump) which includes replacing condenser and evaporator coil with 410a system and flushing my line set (7/8 and 3/8") which runs about 25-30 ft
through sheetrocked soffet in finished basement and not easily removable.
Vendor 1 (one I like the best) - Westinghouse FS4BD model 3.5 ton 13 SEER 10-10-10 warranty (yes, 10 years on labor he said!) $3388
Vendor 2 - Armstrong 413LE, 10/10/1 warranty, 3.5 ton, $3380 4-ton would be $3680
System 2 - SEER 15 dual fuel Heat Pump system with new 90% AFUE furnace
Vendor 1 - Westinghouse Heat Pump FT4BE 3.5 ton SEER 15 new furnace 10/10/10 warranty $6688
Vendor 3 - Aries (Lennox) Heat Pump 15 SEER and replace furnace 10/10/1 warranty $6100
Here is a question I have... My furnace (gas) just finished its 13th winter, but should last another 5-10 years right? So, why can't I have them install just a 15 SEER Heat Pump system with new coil and keep
using my old 80% furnace which will only be used on those winter days when daytime temp is less then 30 degrees (one guy said 25 degrees). Must I also bite the bullet for a new furnace at this time. However,
Vendor #3 said that he would replace the furnace for only an extra $1200 (part of the $6100 he is quoting which means he wanted $4900 for just heat pump system).
Any other advice, like what are good brands and not so good brands and should I call Sears and get a quote from them, would be appreciated.